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Wednesday, September 17, 2014 at 1:32 pm

Fall Festival to debut in Corfu and Pembroke

post by Billie Owens in business, corfu, pembroke

A fun family Harvest Festival in the country will debut from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. on Saturday, Oct. 11, at the Kozy Kabin at 922 Genesee Street (Route 33) in Corfu.

Hosting are the property owners, Charles and Lenora Kohorst, who started the business three years ago. They build custom cabins and sheds of all sizes, with delivery, and custom-made polywood outdoor furniture, plus a colorful array of mums for the Fall season.

Why the festival?

"We have seen businesses in Corfu and Pembroke diminish these past few years, unfortunately, and have lost some great businesses -- The Market, IGA, Burling Drug, and more," Lenora said. "We see the need to come together as businesses and promote what the Corfu and Pembroke area has to offer the public. iI's a great place to live and visit (Darien Lakes)."

The scarecrow is the fest's theme.

Corfu and Pembroke area businesses are invited to participate in a scarecrow display that allows them to show off what they offer. They can dress it in any way that best shows the attendees their business with all their business information (addresses, contact info, specialties, etc.) also displayed alongside the scarecrow. Scarecrows will be displayed along the roadside (Route 33), craft vendors will have them at their booths, and they will be along the hayride that will go around the property.

There will be a bounce house, food vendors, craft vendors, kettle corn, hayrides, alpacas from Alpaca Delights, homemade desserts for sale, mums, pumpkins for sale. Browse Kozy Kabin, listen to live music, "needle in a haystack" game, face painting, balloon man.

There will also be a cabin raffle. First prize is a 10' x 20' cabin with a porch, or choice of $3,000 cash. Second, third and fourth prizes are a polywood folding Adirondack chair in the color of the winner's choice. Tickets are $5 or three for $10. Rain or shine. There will be tents.

For more information contact Lenora Kohorst at 409-7424.

Tuesday, September 16, 2014 at 10:34 pm

City planners vote down proposed Dunkin Donuts for West Main location

post by Howard B. Owens in batavia, business, Dunkin' Donuts

There won't be Dunkin' Donut coffee addicts zipping into a new shop on West Main Street, Batavia, any time soon, it seems.

The City's planning board rejected a site plan for the propose fast food restaurant outright following a public hearing Tuesday.

Paul Viele, the board member who made the motion to reject the proposal, cited concerns over traffic and complaints from residents on Redfield Parkway and River Street.

The proposed location was a lot squeezed in between First Niagara Bank and Barrett's Batavia Marine.

Jett Mehta, president of the Pittsford-based development company looking to build a second Dunkin' Donuts in Batavia, said his company had looked at several properties on both the west side and the east side of the city before settling on a location they felt had sufficient traffic to support the franchise.

Donut stores and drive-thru coffee shops  need high-traffic locations, Mehta explained.

"We don't generate traffic just because somebody decides they want to drive across town to get a cup of coffee," Mehta said. "They might, but we generally don't generate traffic. We capture traffic."

Kip Finley, an engineer on the project, said getting coffee and donuts is more a matter of "impulse purchases from people who are already right there."

Board members and public speakers expressed some skepticism about the "captured traffic" motif. 

"Tim Hortons is not captured traffic," John Roach said. "People go there to get a cup of coffee, so I can see a lot more than five or six cars getting in line."

Mehta and his team brought their proposal to the city a couple of weeks ago and planners asked that the alignment of the store be changed so as many 20 cars in queue.

The developers did, even though they are vehement that there will never be 20 cars in queue.  

"Our company operates 19 Dunkin Donuts with drive thrus," Mehta said. "We've never seen 20 cars in queue. Twenty cars in a drive-thru queue just never happens. It's not how the business is run."

When board members expressed concerns about the reconfigured site dumping traffic on River Street, Finley said that was a result of trying to accommodate the request to have space for 20 cars backed up in line.

"We're pretty flexible on those things," Finley said. "We now have two plans and both work pretty well."

Neighboring business owner Mike Barrett called the project "ill conceived."

He said there was a 400 gallon propane tank at the back of the property, an auto parts store in the neighboring shopping mall that certainly stores a lot of chemicals. He wondered if the Fire Department had signed off on the project with access to those buildings being restricted.

He also said the DEC required access to the Tonawanda Creek from that location for grass cutting operations.

Code Enforcement Officer Doug Randall said City Fire had been consulted and Chief Jim Maxwell had signed off on the plans.

Redfield Parkway resident Jim Owen said he loves Dunkin' Donuts and doesn't made a section location in Batavia, just not that location.

"We're really getting overwhelmed with the traffic," Owen said. "If you try to get out on certain dates and certain hours, it's just brutal."

After the meeting, Mehta said he and his team will need to convene and decide with to continue pursuing a second Dunkin Donuts location in Batavia. 

Mike Mikolajczyk, owner of the current franchise and prospective owner of the second franchise, said during the meeting that the number one request he gets from current customers is a drive-thru location.

Asked about possible locations on the east side of the city, Mikolajczyk said it doesn't appear yet that East Main has the traffic volume to support a Dunkin' Donuts.

Photo: Steve Pum and Kip Finley.

Tuesday, September 16, 2014 at 12:15 pm

Grand opening of exhibit about p.w. minor footwear company at HLOM

post by Billie Owens in business, events

The grand opening of an exhiibit about local shoemakers p.w. minor will be held at the Holland Land Office Museum from 6:30 to 8 p.m. on Thursday, Oct. 2.

Light refreshments will be served.

The museum is located at 131 W. Main St. in the City of Batavia.

Event Date and Time

October 2, 2014 - 6:30pm - 8:00pm
Monday, September 15, 2014 at 2:46 pm

Muller Quaker Dairy and local Edward Jones office support Salvation Army Food Drive

post by Billie Owens in announcements, business

Press release:

Muller Quaker Dairy and the local Edward Jones branch office support this year's Salvation Army Food Drive.

Local residents and businesses may help those less fortunate in the community by bringing in items to the Edward Jones branch office during regular business hours from Oct. 1 to Nov. 21.

Items needed for the food drive include: Canned fruits and vegetables, beans, instant potatoes, soups, canned meats, speghetti sauce, cereal, pasta and rice.

Proceeds from the drive will benefit the Batavia Salvation Army serving Genesee County.

Friday, September 12, 2014 at 1:17 pm

Proposed second Dunkin' Donuts in city fails to get approval from county planners

post by Howard B. Owens in batavia, business, Dunkin' Donuts, West Main Street

County planners took a dim view of a new Dunkin' Donuts location on West Main Street, on a sliver of a lot between First Niagara Bank and Barrett's Batavia Marine.

After raising doubts about traffic flow, parking, parking for neighboring businesses, signage, building color and design, a motion to approve the project failed 3-5.

There was no follow-up motion to disapprove the project, which is a little more favorable to developer Kip Finley (pictured above). A disapproving vote would have required the City of Batavia Planning Board to approve the plans by a majority plus one. With no recommendation from the county, only a simple majority vote is required for approval.

Still, Finley wasn't happy as he left the meeting.

"Unfortunately, county planning talks about reusing property and building where there's development and not forcing development out into green areas, except they don't vote that way," Finally said. "Fairly disappointed."

Finley acknowledged there's a lot of traffic at the proposed location, but "that's where we put stores."

Planners were concerned that traffic would back up onto the street.

The City had already asked for a lot configuration so that as many as 20 cars could queue up in line, but Finley said that if a Dunkin Donuts store ever had as many as seven cars waiting in line, it would mean the store was a poorly run location.

He said store managers strive to keep traffic moving quickly because many customers won't even stop if they see a few cars already in line.

Planning staff expressed concern about signs in front of the building because of the potential visual impact on Redfield Parkway, which is designated "culturally significant" street by the Genesee-Finger Lakes Regional NYS DOT.

The problem for the proposed Dunkin' Donuts location, Finley said is that with the bank and its trees on the east side and Barrett's on the west side, signs on the sides of building won't have much visibility.

He also said the sign needs to be internally lit to have any meaningful impact on drawing in visitors who might be passing through and are unfamiliar with the area.

Thursday, September 11, 2014 at 10:00 pm

Association honors GCEDC and Muller Quaker for economic development

post by Howard B. Owens in batavia, business, GCEDC, Muller Quaker Dairy

Press release:

The Genesee County Economic Development Center (GCEDC) and Muller Quaker Dairy are the recipients of the 2014 Northeastern Economic Developers Association (NEDA) Project of the Year Award. The award was formally presented to both entities at NEDA’s Annual Conference on Monday, Sept. 8th in Worcester, Mass.

GCEDC was recognized for fostering the development of the 250-acre Genesee Valley Agri-Business Park in Batavia, which has generated more than $230 million of new capital investment as well as the creation of approximately 230 jobs. NEDA also recognized Muller Quaker Dairy, a $206 million state-of-the-art yogurt manufacturing facility, which employs almost 200 people in the Agri-Business Park in the competitive $6.2 billion U.S. yogurt marketplace.

“On behalf of the GCEDC Board of Directors and staff we are honored to be recognized by NEDA,” said Steve Hyde, president and CEO of the GCEDC. “I want to thank Governor Cuomo for his personal commitment in bringing Muller Quaker Dairy to Western New York and his tireless efforts to improve the economic development climate throughout Upstate New York.”

Muller Quaker Dairy is projected to have a regional impact of approximately $150 million annually on the local agriculture, hospitality and business services sectors. Indirect job creation is projected to add another 750 workers to the regional labor force.

“This project is a great example of public and private sector collaboration especially in significantly compressing the timeline for various government approvals,” said Chris Suozzi, vice president for business development at the GCEDC. “Through the collaboration with Empire State Development, the Greater Rochester Enterprise the Buffalo Niagara Enterprise, National Grid, Genesee County, as well as the City and Town of Batavia, we were able to make the case that Batavia and the Agri-Business Park was the perfect location for Muller Quaker Dairy."

Muller Quaker Dairy is a joint venture between one of Europe’s largest dairy processors, Germany-based Theo Muller and New York-based PepsiCo. It is the largest manufacturing plant ever to open in Genesee County.

The NEDA Project of the Year award recognizes a major economic development project based on job creation and other direct economic impacts; capital investment; leveraging of development resources; use of public/private and/or intergovernmental partnerships; benefits to the surrounding community and/or environment; innovation; design excellence; and transportation considerations.

Thursday, September 11, 2014 at 11:56 am

Remedy Intelligent Staffing opens ninth Western New York Office in Batavia

post by Billie Owens in business, remedy staffing

Press release:

To celebrate its 15-year anniversary in Western New York, Remedy Intelligent Staffing, one of the nation’s largest staffing firms, is pleased to announce the opening of its new location in Batavia. The office will be located at:

                           Remedy Intelligent Staffing
                           653 Ellicott St.
                           Batavia, NY 14020
                           Phone: 585.219.4096

The ninth location is indicative of Remedy’s continued growth and success in the Western New York area. As a member of the National Human Resource Association (NHRA)  and GAPA Human Resources Group, and recently recognized in the Rochester Business Journal’s List of Staffing Firms as Rochester’s #1 staffing firm, Remedy prides itself on developing local teams in the communities it supports. The new Batavia office will serve the staffing needs of Genesee, Orleans, and Wyoming counties.

One of the country’s 10-largest full-service staffing agencies, Remedy is part of The Select Family of Staffing Companies, which has over 400 branches nationwide and annual revenues more than $2 billion. Remedy’s Batavia branch will offer contract, contract-to-hire, and direct placement positions in the light industrial and clerical fields, with an executive recruiting team.

The Remedy high-energy professional management team offers more than 20 years of staffing expertise and consists of Jeff Weber, president; Wendy Waight, regional manager; Brandyn Jacob, regional account manager; Steve Lansing, sales manager; Lori Farley, area manager; Jessica Spann, staffing coordinator; and Chris Williams, staffing coordinator.

“Having a full-time office in Batavia allows our clients and associates greater support from our local team,” Waight said. “The Batavia office will allow us to increase our accessibility to potential applicants as well as advance the response time to clients in need of qualified new employees.”

For more information on how Remedy can make a difference for your career or your company, please visit the company’s Web site at www.remedystaff.com.

 

About Remedy Intelligent Staffing and The Select Family of Staffing Companies

Founded in 1965, Remedy Intelligent Staffing is a professional staffing organization with years of recruiting and “Intelligent Fit” selection expertise to recruit top performers for their clients that minimize workforce costs and protect their bottom lines. Remedy’s industry-leading expertise in on-site programs, risk management, human resources, and employment law make it a top-rated partner in business.

Remedy offers premier workforce management services, including recruiting and screening professional job candidates, payroll and time attendance management, on-site supervision, and specialty staffing solutions to a wide variety of client companies, including manufacturing, industrial, clerical, administrative, accounting, finance, information technology, and professional services.

Remedy is part of The Select Family of Staffing Companies, one of the nation’s top 10 staffing agencies, as ranked by Staffing Industry Analysts. The company also operates as Select Staffing® (SelectRemedy® in Illinois), Select Truckers Plus®, Westaff®, and RemX® Specialty Staffing, and has divisions focused on professional development training (Power Training Institute) and Managed Services Program (SinglePoint Solutions). The Select Family is the only staffing agency to have ever won the Risk & Insurance Industry’s highest award – Risk Manager of the Year.

For more information on The Select Family of Staffing Companies, please visit the company’s website at www.selectfamily.com.

Wednesday, September 10, 2014 at 8:02 pm

John I. LaMancuso joins Lewis & Lewis law firm

post by Billie Owens in business

Press release:

Lewis & Lewis, P.C., is pleased to announce that John I. LaMancuso has joined the firm as an associate attorney.

LaMancuso received a bachelor’s degree, with high distinction, from Indiana University and graduated magna cum laude from the State University of New York at Buffalo Law School. He is licensed to practice law in the State of New York.

LaMancuso comes to Lewis & Lewis with experience litigating general personal injury matters, as well as personal injury and wrongful death claims on behalf of individuals suffering from mesothelioma and lung cancer caused by exposure to asbestos.

Allan M. Lewis, partner at Lewis & Lewis, said “we are pleased to bring John to the team. He brings with him a great level of knowledge and truly shares our vision for the firm.”

At Lewis & Lewis, LaMancuso will continue represent the victims of serious injuries. He will focus his practice in the areas of personal injury litigation and workers’ compensation.

With offices in Batavia, Buffalo, Niagara Falls, Jamestown and Olean, Lewis & Lewis fights on behalf of injury victims and their families throughout Western New York.

Wednesday, September 10, 2014 at 1:10 pm

Summit physical and occupational director becomes sports certified specialist

Press release:

United Memorial’s Summit Physical and Occupational Therapy Center’s Jim Turcer, PT, SCS has obtained Board Certification as a Sports Certified Specialist (SCS). The certification program provides formal recognition for physical therapists with advanced clinical knowledge, skill and expertise in the areas of sports and athletics.

As of July 2013, the American Board of Physical Therapists Specialties (ABPTS) has certified only 1,266 Physical Therapists nationwide with the Sports Specialist Certification.

“Certified specialists have clearly demonstrated their commitment to service by the variety, depth, and consistency of their professional involvement. Their desire to attain formal recognition of their advanced clinical knowledge, competence, and skills reflects their devotion to their profession and their patients. In these times of dramatic health care reform, dedication to public service by providing high quality physical therapy services is paramount,” said Stephanie Yu, PT, MSPT, PCS, chair American Board of Physical Therapy Specialties.

Turcer began working within the community immediately after graduating from the State University of New York at Buffalo with a degree in Physical Therapy and recently celebrated his 27th anniversary with United Memorial Medical Center. Turcer furthered his education and training by becoming a certified Sportsmetrics trainer through the Cincinnati SportsMedicine Research and Education Foundation.

He is currently living in Alexander with his wife and three children, and is passionate about teaching high school female athletes’ injury prevention and jump training programs. Over the last 12 years he has been working with the Alexander High School’s women’s volleyball and basketball teams to successfully reduce the number of injuries to their athletes.

Summit Physical and Occupational Therapy has clinicians with the highest certifications and training with many years of experience. The professionals at Summit Physical and Occupational Therapy have consistently demonstrated their dedication for advanced techniques by furthering their skills and education. 

About the American Board of Physical Therapy Specialties

The specialist certification program has been designed to identify and define physical therapy specialty areas and to formally recognize physical therapists who have attained advanced knowledge and skills in those areas. Certification also assists the public and health care community in identifying therapists with acknowledged expertise in a particular field of practice and demonstrates that physical therapists are devoted to addressing the unique needs of the people with whom we work. Certification is achieved through successful completion of a standardized online application and examination process. Coordination of this program is provided by the American Board of Physical Therapy Specialties (ABPTS), the governing body for approval of new specialty areas and certification of clinical specialists. Specialty councils representing the eight recognized specialty areas have been appointed to delineate and describe the advanced knowledge, skills, and abilities of clinical specialists; determine specific requirements for certification; and develop the certification examinations.

Tuesday, September 9, 2014 at 11:28 am

Gift from Liberty Pumps puts new technology in the hands of every Byron-Bergen student

post by Howard B. Owens in bergen, business, byron, byron-bergen, liberty pumps

There's a selfish reason Charle Cook got behind the idea of his company donating money to help the Byron-Bergen School District buy 1,100 tablet computers for all of the district's children: He wants potential future employees to have the technical skills to work for the Liberty Pumps of tomorrow.

But the donation is also a good deed that will benefit his and his son's alma mater and perhaps encourage other rural companies to be as generous with their local school districts.

"We felt it's important as kids progress through school that they become knowledgable and comfortable with technology," said Charlie Cook, CEO of Liberty. "It's going to be part of their future employment. To have that as a kind of leg up to students who might not have access is an advantage.

"Somewhat from a selfish standpoint," he added, "we're going to need a certain segment of those graduates, and we're interested in keeping as many kids as we can in the community."

Superintendent Casey Kosiorek said the gift was timely. The district had recently cut a staff position from its library and New York's formula for aid to district continues to disportionately favor affluent suburban districts over rural districts.

"This allows us to do something that most of the school districts in the more affluent areas of the state are able to do," Kosiorek said. "We're very thankful for that."

That was part of what motivated Liberty to seek out a way to assist the district, said Jeff Cook, who initiated the talks with the district that led to the donation.

"The reason Liberty Pumps thought the Learn Pads were a good idea was that we hear a lot about how wealthier, suburban districts seem to have advantages over poorer, more rural districts in terms of course offerings and opportunities for their students," Jeff Cook said. "We were looking for a way to help give our students an edge while minimizing the overhead burden of the district and therefore the taxpayer."

Charlie Cook didn't want to reveal the total monetary amount of the donation, but it's roughly 30 percent of the cost of the 1,100 tablets, which cost a few hundred dollars each. That donation made Byron-Bergen eligible for a technology grant from the state education department that covered the remaining 70 percent of the cost.

There will be no new local spending as a result of the program.

The tablets are known as LearnPads. They are Droid-based tablets with modifications to suit the needs of an educational institution.  

First, there are limits on how students can use them. There's access to YouTube, for example, but they can only watch teacher-approved videos. They can only visit approved Web pages. They can only download and install teacher-approved apps.

Teachers control the entire LearnPad environment according to the education needs of the class.

From a desktop computer program, teachers can customize how the LearnPads can be used, develop each day's lesson plan, then provide a QR code that can be posted to a wall. As students enter the class that day or that hour, the student scans the QR code to receive the lesson plan. As class progresses, teachers can monitor student activity to ensure they're staying on task.

However, Kosiorek stressed, LearnPads don't replace lectures and class discussions.

"This is a great tool for students and for teachers, but it doesn't replace quality education," Kosiorek said. "It's a tool, it's a supplement, an addition to a teacher's toolbox."

There are educational books available on the LearnPad and Kosiorek said the district hopes to someday replace all of its text books with tablets. That would save the district money as well as end the days of one-ton backpacks and multiple trips to lockers for students.

And yes, there are games available to students. Math games and vocabulary games, for example.

"Many students have access to video games and those games are very engaging," Kosiorek said. "There are goals that are set and you work toward those goals, so whatever we can do to provide relevance and engagement for students (we will do)."

Every student, starting this week, gets a LearnPad, from kindergarten through 12th grade. The younger students don't get a keyboard and will just use the touch screen, but starting in about third grade, keyboards will be introduced.

At younger grades, the LearnPads stay in school -- at least until the summer, when they can go with the summer reading program already installed -- while older children can bring the LearnPads home for homework once permissions slips and guideline acknowledgments are signed.

"We're very excited to be doing it," Charlie Cook said. "I've got four grandkids in the system right now and when I come to an event, which I do as often as I can, it's amazing to me to watch these kids work with the technology, even what they have currently. I think even in preschool years, they were up operating the touch screen, so this is a natural progression for them."

Jeff Cook said he hopes other business owners will look at this initiative and contact their own school administrators and ask "How can we help?".

Education, after all, is everybody's business.

"My hope is that what Liberty Pumps is doing will gain traction in the business community and others will join in on supporting our schools," Jeff Cook said. "If you are a business that is passionate about something you would be willing to help fund or support, I would suggest talking to the school administration about your idea and see if it is feasible. 

"In the case of Byron-Bergen, they did all the leg work and presented us with their vision based on our ideas. This could be anything from supporting sport programs and class offerings, to equipment for the district. Anything that could enhance a student's learning opportunity."

Photo: Casey Kosiorek, left, and Charlie Cook.

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